This course will introduce students to important themes in the history of the United States during the "long" 19th century, from the early Republic to World War I, during a period of rapid displacement, settlement, and migration. Themes include continental expansion and US imperialism, the creation of new markets, the development of agriculture and industry, slavery and its abolition, and new currents of immigration. We will examine how enslaved and free people of many geographic origins contested the scope and significance of democracy, community, and nationhood through diverse expressions of support, dissent, protest, and reform.
In Fall 2020, this course was dedicated the analysis of digitized primary sources. In Fall 2022, it is rather an ode to all that is lost in digitization. As a group we will consider, as a methodological and empirical question, what it means to study the past as a material and social entity. A weekly portion of the syllabus will be developed by the students in consultation with the professor.